Sciatica without pain is a less common symptomatic expression, but it still exists in many patients. In most cases, non-painful sciatica consists of weakness, tingling or numbness in the back, buttocks, legs or feet. Sciatica is not always painful and may simply cause minor, moderate or even disturbing neurological effects in some sufferers.
This article will investigate why some sciatic nerve expressions do not involve pain at all. We will examine the possible reasons for neurological dysfunction that does not cause actual pain.
Sciatica which is not painful can be sourced by any of the usual causes. Spinal conditions, such as scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, herniated discs and osteoarthritis can all enact neurological symptoms without pain.
In some instances, non-spinal causations, like piriformis syndrome, can also create a non-painful symptomatic expression.
Of course, regional ischemia may cause a wide range of sciatica symptoms, with or without pain.
It is crucial to remember that most sciatica is painful, although depending on the diagnosis, there may be particular times when pain does not occur, despite the continuing presence of paresthesia or other nerve symptoms.
For example, continued nerve root compression is unlikely to remain painful for long. In most patients, clinical data suggests that the affected nerve should basically shut down, enacting utter numbness and subsequent weakness in the innervated region. Pain may only be a transient consequence of many compressive neuropathies when the condition first occurs.
In another example, some cases of central spinal stenosis are not painful at all. Most can still be debilitating, with patients sometimes restricted in their physical abilities to a great degree. However, pain itself is not an inherent or universal symptomatic expression.
Most non-painful sciatica complaints do not cause the same stress and suffering as painful expressions. Many patients never even see a doctor unless they have substantial pain, although this can be a mistake in some cases.
Objective numbness can exist in the buttocks, legs or feet and may be a sign of a serious health condition. There may be no pain accompanying these symptoms, just a complete lack of feeling and sometimes, limited motor reflex response.
If you have this type of complete numbness, make sure to get checked out by a qualified neurologist or internist ASAP.
If you have unexplained neurological symptoms, but no pain, do not fear going to see the doctor. It is always a good idea to get evaluated for any unusual anatomical symptoms, since preventative care is crucial to good health. If there is no pain and everything checks out fine, then you can just get back to normal life and the symptoms will likely fade with time.
I am rather envious of sciatica patients who do not have pain. This is simply because I have suffered decades with the condition and it has always been a misery.
There are some times when my sciatica calms down, but I might still have some neurological symptoms, such as tingling, numbness or non-painful spasms in my feet. I get this rather often, but most of the time, there is at least some degree of pain present. As with most patients, I do not have a definitive diagnosis, just a bunch of suspected structural issues in my spine which may be causative, contributory or coincidental, depending on whom I ask.